BRASÍLIA, Brazil – Brazilian Army soldiers recently participated in a training exercise in which terrorists unleashed a chemical weapons attack during the Confederations Cup. The drill was part of security preparations leading to soccer tournament, which will be held from June 15-30. (Evaristo Sa/AFP)
QUITO, Ecuador – Correa condemns attack against local television: Ecuadorian President Rafael Correa ordered “an exhaustive police investigation” and condemned the attack against the headquarters of the Teleamazonas channel in Quito with a small explosive device. The device exploded in the building’s parking lot, causing no victims or material damage, but was near the electrical generator the channel uses every day because of the electricity rationing the country is experiencing. Police indicated it was a low-intensity explosive and they will compare the remains with one used eight months before in a similar attack.
SANTIAGO, Chile – Cepal projects decline in Latin American growth: A report from the Economic Commission for Latin America and the Caribbean (Cepal) estimated that, as a result of the global economic crisis, the region’s economic growth this year will experience a year-on-year decline of 1.5 to 2 percent. “Despite the recovery, the crisis has had a negative impact,” said Daniel Titelman, head of the Cepal Development Studies Unit. “Although we were expecting a greater impact, the crisis did not leave us unaffected,” the Titelman noted. Between 2003 and 2007, Latin American economies grew at an average rate of 4.8 percent.
[La Tercera, EFE]
SÃO PAULO, Brazil – Bradesco becomes profitability leader: Brazilian bank Bradesco “posted the best return on assets” and is the most profitable of the year among 20 financial institutions in the Americas with net equity over US$100 billion. Bradesco, the country’s third-largest bank behind Banco do Brasil and Itaú-Unibanco, brings this title to the continent for the first time since 2001. The calculation, which is the result of dividing net earnings by total assets and multiplying the result by one hundred, puts Bradesco ahead of American Express in the United States.
LA PAZ, Bolivia – OAS observers predict peaceful elections: The Organization of American States (OAS) observer mission, consisting of 124 persons, has predicted that Bolivia’s general elections on Dec. 6 will be “calm, peaceful and transparent.” The head of the delegation, Colombian Horacio Serpa, visited the city of Santa Cruz (east) and asked citizens to “participate in a civic environment with democratic criteria.” After learning of the organizational work of the local National Electoral Court office, Serpa said that his observations raise no concerns as to the results.
[El Deber, EFE]